If you've ever had cockroaches, you know that that the little buggers can fit pretty much anywhere.
A new repellent coating devised by University of Cambridge zoologists manages to stop roaches and other insects from sticking to surfaces -- like the ones in your kitchen or bathroom.
To stick to surfaces, insects secrete an oil-and-water emulsion to generate friction so they can adhere to a surface and crawl. The researchers' polyimide coating absorbs the water part, reducing insects' friction on vertical surfaces by 40 percent.
Here's a video:
The polyimide coating is nontoxic and inexpensive, addressing two persistent issues with current pest control measures.
The repellent, which can be sprayed or painted on, will also affect ants, cockroaches, termites and locusts. The potential application is broad: crops, furniture, ventiliation pipes, shoes, containers and baby bottles have all been mentioned.
Of course, the repellent isn't entirely effective in that it won't kill the insects -- after all, the coating can stop them from getting into places you don't want them, but it won't stop them from breeding, either.
The scientists' paper will appear in the Nov. 6th issue of the Journal of the Royal Society: Interface.
This post was originally published on Smartplanet.com